This page features poetry written by Ken L. Jones. Although he has been writing professionally for over thirty years and does every kind of writing you can imagine from comic books to doctoring movie scripts Ken L. Jones considers himself first last and always a poet which doesn’t mean that he doesn’t find time to write a lot of horror and other genre style short stories too.  He’s especially interested in any comments you would care to make about these poems and would also be interested in seeing any poetry that you might like to publish here too.

Get Some Blood


The moon comes tapping like a blind man

While something that is giddy as it stalks me

Leaves threats written in lipstick

Upon the leaves of every tree

As dark ruddy and crumbling

The very stars in the sky fall ill at all that is about to happen

Once my blood begins to spill

And then in a pitch black darkness

That seems to be going the wrong way

Something vaguely humanoid falls on me like prey

Brandishing an oddly lit pair of scissors

That breathes plagues of runic symbols

In the splatters on my chest on this masked and foggy evening

When every bird song has become a lament

And then I am dispatched unceremoniously

To that final and most impersonal of all continents

Where the black feathers of sleep are eternal

And the scent of winter knows no rest

Once one has descend the musty smell of a maze of stairs

Sleeping off its feed that arises in the place I always knew I was headed for

But of whose very existence I have long refuse to conceive


Midnight Swirl


Unlocked hallucinations on chocolate horses

Caused no chance to sleep to begin to bleed

As the crumbling concrete city shadowboxed

Ready to shed its Lou Reed mannequins by night

As the tinted ragged massacres continued to replicate

Eternal unfamiliar and brandishing a lethal wand

In my ruined ancestral home which though forsaken

Still in the night looms on and on

Strange Sleep
Once while on the dripping shores of falling down stairs
As murmuring toads crooned in dark pre-human corners turned all septic
Once while floating down the decomposing river
That had aligned its calendar so that it could sleepwalk with the berserk undead
Came unto me a pale presence of crawly bacteria
That was reversed engineered from the chocolate covered unthinkable end time fears
As surreal and dreamlike as the mined scrap metal
Which died from eating pop rocks
Then was beheaded with one clean stroke
And which now moans and wails like multiple personalities
So robot voiced as it reads my last rites while hissing in my ear
Like a snake that leaves bloody scratches in its wake
As it crawls back into a hole in the very blackest part of the night
 Vaporous Recoiling
  I am between all worlds and
Intangible when I am asleep
Exiled to the Isle of Silence
Where the remembered past
Flits out to sea like the
Flying Dutchman’s ghost at last
And high above bandstands
Covered with swirling snow
I can see my breathe in that air
So full of lace
As all the gold flaked streets below
Become a music box make of ice cream and cake
And in this October which was once gray
But now fades to pallid red
I board the unsettling train
Whose brain patterns become my hammer
And like a caterpillar folding in on itself
I find that my heart has been neatly pieced
By an arrow made of mistletoe
During this midnight so like a Frankenstein’s Monster
Where the last thing I hear is the growling of un-glimpsed dogs
While the Reaper plays a poisoned violin
In the dimness of a Hanson cab
That he beckons me to climb in so that I can ride along.

Curious Boundaries
  The ghosts of my secret hours are full of the wormwood eyes
Of a grotesque parade in a lonely house
Pale unearthly frail, so somber as it sings itself to sleep
And it is surrounded by a dark bygone landscape all dressed up in tatters
That is constantly haunted by the morbidity of twilight
Where a nightmare dressed as a cackling jester
Wanders the icy winter winds forever
With no clues to its true paternity but the chiseled letters
On a tombstone in a graveyard that few still visit
But which the dead there now have no choice but to call home
And for all of eternity from it they will never more roam
Chaff From The Layers Of My Thoughts
A botched morning vanishes
And the fetus of the slimy tapestry
Of my baffled nap floats away
Like last night’s constellations
That became a flock of bats
Who flickered and twinkled
Like needles and gore
And were so feral and dirty
As they came out of their oozing crypts
Shifting and ancient and pumping
Like human hearts and yet brilliant
As they showed up on my doorstep
Like autumn being announced
By the presence of a severed goat’s head
As it delivered unto me a most chilling proclamation
That I would soon be murdered by the dead
And so as lycanthropic night sinks its claws into me
Something plodding, something slow
Something that was not at all what I expected
A true grotesquery of great despair came unto me
And I was as unprepared for it
As I was for my first EC Horror comic so long ago
And as it lunged for me out of the glue like darkness
Something smelt in a hunger for the moon
Harvested my humanity and took me with it
After promising me that I’d be returning soon
And so through earth and coffin wood I tear
A’waiting to fulfill the terrible potential
Of this my most unwanted second birth
As I become one whose name is legion
Restless and doomed through all of eternity
To wander this wretched earth most unceasing.

Dead, Dead


In the sinister groove of the swirl of what continues to haunt

In a weightlessness dark and smoky

The way girls dance when freed of death

Has a certain black and relentless menace

And in the base urges that are spreading

I am at last discovering and forgetting

And as all that unleashes while lurking

Easily takes me to clawing imperfect monstrous evil

And then all that is female before me is soon dead

Out like flickering candles in the basement that

Such deeds are done in

Down through all the homeless centuries

Then sleep at last sleep

Comes on and out of nowhere

Upon me and I find that this beautiful garden

Where I gladly shed my humanity in

Is but a dream, a tease

An eternal torment

In the insane madhouse that is my conformity

And I’m back once again in the real world

Where sorrow pulls the trigger

While the moon it breaks my bones

For daring to try to escape too early

From the imprisonment of my flesh/blood home



Sour Shadows


Terrible thoughts scramble in static

That has a ghostly glow

And while thunder crashes on the beachfront

Of my troubled slumber

Where far away voices tick like a clock

That emanate from former human beings

Still on the prowl for all kinds of reasons

And all of them unsettling

With a hunger for I wonder not

I realize that the world has changed forever

As all becomes what was foretold so long ago

In this time of all debts settled

By fingernails and fangs and mouths that foam

In that wine cask of a mirror

Where we all lose our shadows

And where hallucinations become our jesters

Making us laugh so hard at the human condition

That we have to slash either someone else’s throat

Or slash our own

In that place where Venus gets mutilated

By something whose father was an ape

But these days pretends that just isn’t so



Lines Written By The Mulled Wine Of Moonlight


Upside down creatures with red fangs

In disappearing wheat fields full of the dead in coffins

The clouds overhead are a crossroads

Whose delicious blood has been drained

By apparitions that have emerged

From a fever in some lunatic’s brain

The thirst of my fingerprints for a soft young throat

Was their final bequest

I think I remember that as I look in the mirror

Where what stares back at me

Is more Venus flytrap than it is man

And now the lower Alps are orange and very somber

Just long slashes of stained silhouettes

Where shadows stir in their deep sleep

Sailor shadows that take me to port cities

That have marks upon their necks




Become The Monster


Woke up in a ghastly skull

Obeying without question

The streets where dogs bark

Like a red gouged wound

As something even more elder

Called out to me in anger

To bring forth a blighted crop

That would blink and twitch

When exposed to even

The normal sunlight of high noon

One that would douse the world

In the most awful of sleep walking lullabies

And as I slid across this rusting dream’s fissures

Past shadows like an oriental garden

That caused the very fog itself to tremble

As I performed the impossible

And slit a throat once I held up the beard

Of a dream beneath an autumn moon

That was wearing an obsidian tuxedo

By a dim light that was so vacantly evil

And one which had low bestial drooling lips

That congratulated me with a voice

That sounded like a hive of chimpanzees

As I became the recipient of its most awful of gifts

A guarantee that I would live forever

As long as each night the fuel

That powers the human body was drained

And swallowed by me in gulps and sips

That were taken even when not freely given

By a child, a mister, or a miss







Tentacles Of Straw


Yet another incoherent night has awakened me

Like my drink of choice

As the young ones gather around

The scarecrow of the new October morn

Their crooked mouths full of this day of wonder

That long in the belly of centuries has stewed and stirred

Until it was codified and civilized in rituals that most

Christian pulpits do not bother to speak out against anymore

And though the fall leaves no longer sop up the human blood

That in once the future could be read

And though giant wicker men no longer burn

And no hearts are torn out nor lost

And none anymore lose their heads

Still there’s something thrilling in what is left

And in all that still lingers there

And so once again I salute this amazing harvest

Of strange feelings that tingles

Oh how it tingles

In the coagulation of the air




Still Mutating 


Infant midnight lingers in the faded poison

It has bestowed upon an old harbor

That has red eyes whose waves are like

The rotten corpses of horses as they break

In counterpoint to the morose pan flute music

Of the venom of the rain

And while my blasphemous dreams so serpentine

Slit its throat on a pool table

That reddens with blood stains

 Few will suspect that in the daylight hours

They are casually brushing past the one who every policemen

Wishes that he could divine my address and my name



Carved Up Movies


October has the strangest handwriting

As it is scrawled upon the first snow

Until it gets ripped apart by the bite marks

Of the dreadful mutant shapes

As I lay in my bed of wonders

Choking on the stench of vapors

Formless yet still swirling

As I descend into the freshly dead

In a blur of slaughter sound tracked

By a whirring that I have never met

And then in the groping voices

Of those brief shredded seconds dim

Unfamiliar windows with all the darkness

Of some machine took moonlight

From the dead of night

And formed a room of bent up spoons

That was adrift in amber scents

Then as long lacerations of vegetation

Swirled and swallowed me

Until I asked how could I not be dreaming

As I unlocked the alleyway of why we are dead

And was torn apart by voices

Whose frozen spasms pushed me down a flight of stairs

Whose transformation is still breathing

Like a face that has been clawed

Where I remain now enslaved to the cane fields

Of my baffled bewilderment nothing now

But a traveling chamber of horrors

Re-gathered around the eerie laugh of

The Shadow who confesses to the gypsy girl

Like a silver bullet even as I am

Strangled by the restraining straps

Of all that I ever said in vain

And with such ease that I never now can take back.


Ken L. Jones



The Humming Of Refrigerators


Terror on a darkened tooth filled pulsating moor

Is but a syringe full of those endless nights of festering

Like a head boiling in a pot more slimy and rancid

Than the flesh of a harvest time plucked out of a dream

Of such malevolent pollution illuminated by the blood

That makes the drums thump in the tell tale

Barnum and Bailey shadows where the fierce rhythms

Of my own inhuman toil scratched down in secret rotten journals

Seized from the skeletal ribcage of Castle Frankenstein

After I had awakened in an ice cave’s corpse like tissue

Where the lunatic’s buzz saw clutched in his hairy paws

Oozed over me like retorts of dripping chemicals

That I sipped like wine as I got down every sensation

Every pain, every thought I wish I had never enunciated

And never want to read again stitched together

And sewn up as on two distinctly different feet

They arise in an empty hallway that called to me

By name where chilled out information from the dead

Tuned out the visions that danced in my head

Till I was only capable of the most hallucinatory

Of speech as I stood revealed as a Pleasure Island bad boy

A burning windmill who can no longer even bend the bars

Off the simplest cages and yet I will still try to convince you

That I can if only to express my boundless rage

At this species known as man.


Ken L. Jones

And Now That The Horror Has Truly Begun


The dead guys are on the move in the pale legs of the rain

There’s an odor of shadows in the porcelain mist

Where there’s always a certain beauty lurking

In the halfway wet dense slaughter where only scotch tape
Holds together all that gasps and is bleeding out

And daylight is ever but a gnarly silhouette

And there my remorse is headless and bubbling and dangling

Like coughed up blood swirling as rusty and mesmerized as severed fingers

Like a frightened rabbit cut through skin that is dribbled like a dream

In the darkness of a hotel room that will never again be clean.




Leave It Alone In The Dark


By a river that had a brain aneurysm

The dreams that the dead have in a softening morgue
Are zombie squishy and so moist mere pencil sketches

Of blood soaked fevers clockwork and muffled like a scary face

Born aloft on a saddle as incomprehensibly weird

And with all the awkwardness of a reanimated corpse

And layered like some delusional montage of the bottom nether realms

Whose glaring boulevards peeled back the skins of a mental asylum

That was disguised by the spilt ink mask

Of he who was known as the Red Orchid Mad Hatter



The Canticle Of The Conquerors


Midnight’s constellations are burned and foul

And have given rise to fetuses made of moonlight in the infected night

And now as eight-legged sleep comes upon us

Like a plague of secrets as the darkness continues to spin its web

Please remember that we came to your planet in the act of mutating

For we have surfed across the stars on strange blood sucking winds

To impart our thirst until it became the most paramount of all of mankind’s desires

As we laid it like shivering eggs inside of your human brains

And now you’re sleeping cities are one long nightmare

Where we may openly play and reign



Hell Being…


Sleep laughed on the night that we dozed off like a television set

A vague feeling like something out of a tall tale

I’m dreaming all this while I’m still awake

And it has footprints like a silver bullet

And is like the vegetable that grew vocal chords

That is even now scratching at my front door

Raving like the fragments of a shattered mirror

Floating like a fevered heartbeat with the textures of a burned out candle

And it has long slumbered in the porcelain lochs

That are like a star lit dream where scarlet children

With haggard faces and corpses in sack cloth creep in shadows putrid and murky

Doing a dance that feeds on the dead and long asleep in all that their master wishes

In the curdled stillness of what he rules by virtue of being long cast down

With all evil resting on his head like the universe’s heaviest crown

And some dare wonder why he frowns.

Blood Frieze

Ken L. Jones


Once in a wasp’s nest of a secluded cabin

All tattered and torn with a jeweler’s precision

Where I went down the rabbit hole

With my sepia tinged bone saw

To create a lullaby beneath a pier

That had lost its memory

Where with my claws I tore off

The face of this blasphemous supermarket

Until I became an identical twin of the night

Who most enjoyed the rides that fear me

As my joy buzzer jolt emerged from a meteorite

Of all that I was indeed pushed into being

By  a world that would not leave me alone

And so though it was never my original intention

They leave me no choice but

To wear their flesh and stew their bones




Ken L. Jones


My dreams die and become all bones

While I climb the stairs to the voices in my head

That shift like a Rubik’s Cube in the scalding hot musty mansion

That was like an old manuscript I’ve never read

Where was unleashed a creature covered in midnight’s blood

With only brain scooping butchery on its mind

Who I first met years ago while on a blinding pilgrim

To a cornfield in a region I can no longer find

Except in the soft voice that you use to speak

To mental patients hoping to keep them calm

Till out of nowhere they scratch out your eyes

While humming a giggling song


Red Blade

Ken L. Jones


Night has an orgasm in the snow

Then minutes pass in fun house silence

As all that was sacrificed on the metamorphosis altar

Of an alleyway becomes a beautiful poem

To the slow trickle of the gutters full of garbage

That are the firstborn of places of great knowledge

How blissfully nimble is the edge of my knife blade

As it dances a ballet across the red tongue of Halloween night

As all screams in terror till in the white noise

Of long after I have gone to sleep

All glitters like a pair of moving scissors

Cutting through the most forbidden of all meats.



Neither Human Nor Beast

Ken L. Jones


My dream disrobes underneath her skin

And with my revenge my night is complete

Dead voices calling out in back alleyways and strip joints

Abandoned in all that is ugly and deformed

As I sit upon a swamp throne backwards

While all that I’ve long kept bottled up

Inside of me comes pouring out

Like it was getting out of a clown car

Even as the death dealing that throbs in my bones

Illuminates the bridge that connects the musical chairs

That bleed with my vengeance as it explodes

Like a piñata in a midnight diner that has sharp teeth.

Rubble And Soot

Ken L. Jones


After hours in the embrace of sleep

I give way to the light of forgotten dreams

Which have a wild rhythm chosen at random

But I couldn’t complete their processes and ancient meanings

And oh they were full of twisted murderous desires

Told in the agony of the ugliest of words

And all seen as if trapped under some arctic ice floe

Like the ghost dancing a jig

Like some kind of a demon

Grinning a smile of great rapture

And there dark frightening secrets were revealed

That made the Jack The Ripper slayings

And Count Dracula pass by as if they were clouds

And all of this took place in foothills as ageless as Dorian Grey

Where stories are forever told by dead people

Until bad mojo gets all loose

And takes us all to the most pregnant of low lit places

Where we end up a brittle hymn

To getting taxidermied and become

Yet merely yet another painting by John Wayne Gacy

That dissolves into a vanishing flock of crows

As twilight slides to sunset in the valley below




And Here’s The Feast

Ken L. Jones


Angel wings rising from a stream made of human skin

Covered in black ink that had a heartbeat

Till all was swallowed up in the long time din

Of corpses when they start to decompose

In the dark recesses of night’s long menacing whip

Where a headless coachman

Who is all frost who is all fear

Speaks like re-spliced television screens

Till Kurt Cobain nor not even the mighty Stephen King himself

Can get through the flesh eating doors

Of the forbidden cities of my hallucinations

Where I adore and I kiss the peyote

That is Fritz Lang’s Metropolises’ lips

And as I fashion a chessboard out of

The oncoming sepia toned darkness

Of the bruised and undead setting sun

That comes on all Candyman nibble

As it attaches an ape’s brain

To the black centipede hieroglyphics
That collapse like imploding stars

As they start to slowly fade

After they first go all demur

Then do linger with a dismemberment

That will never return to my living room

Which speaks with a gravelly whisper

That is heard only by my rock garden

Which is being milked by something

That has to do with the dead

Which well explains why it has become

Such a place of ultimate dread 


I’m A Swirling

Ken L. Jones


We were repelling magnets numbed with pain

Whose end game like a glistening black orchid prism

Had all the innocent trepidation of old churches

Where I dreamt of an end of the world

That was sensual and lavacious

As she stripped down to her buttery biscuit

Until I became like some spacewalking fetus

Euthanized  and dissected and yet still expected

To sing Oh Danny Boy while all of this was going on

Till I sent out a bat signal that melted like a serrated fever

And brimstone monkeys armed with red hot sizzling cast iron frying pans

Rode like the cavalry to my rescue as I collected all their most toxic urges

In a jewel box but still couldn’t’ get no satisfaction from all of the tainted hallelujahs

That have haunted me like ectoplasm with their dark hues

And so now I’m all anger and regrets coiling in a thorn bed of great distortion

Where glue sniffing and fragile I remain murky and barely louder than a whisper

An undulating sitar that just wants to slip away like some shimmering blood splattered bird

Into the forever of repeat, repeat,repeat .




That Death Might Come

Ken L. Jones



Like every day of my life

I came in at the end

And woke up next to

The dead girl who always came

With all my childhood dreams

And then deprived of

What scatter shot sleep I was capable of

My creeping sense of dread unleashed arias

Of riled up rudderless psychotic glee

While vomiting up shattered bathroom mirrors

While I stumbled about in visions

That were like toxic waste

With a swallowed up fear that ate me alive

Until I was nothing more than a scarred

Jack in the box adrift in hidden malevolence

And on the road to nothing after being newly released

From a psychiatric hospital by special decree of the Red Queen

And bone dry after my long interment

And jonesing for the ichor which is the only thing

Which satisfies me or ever probably did.





What Was Left of the Candle


The was an uneasy chilled wind blowing

Through my late night television

Where dreamily I saw all the colors

Of the poisoned landscape there

As the unfathomable once again spoke to me

Like it first did long ago when it rode in on a comic book store

Like some nonhuman creature

That for the millionth time diamond encrusted

And anciently lobster like poured over me

Like heavy rain upon an art museum

And in the ungodly silence of it all

I became but the dirt of a cornfield

That had started to bleed

And as the bones of its flickering candlelight

Festered inside of me like an helium breathing midnight

That could even give goose bumps to

The Flying Dutchman’s sails as they twitched in the breeze

Until it lit down on the snow dusted footprints

That curl beneath the street lamps

Like a rusted furnace glowing a green

That could make a planet fall out of its orbit

As it reaches up into a sky that has grown ravenous

Then hangs in the air like a scrapbook

Of all the misdeeds that I have ever committed

In an impenetrable fog that was talking backwards at the time

And when I was done and my hands were unclean

I stumbled off with all the muggy disorientation of a ghost

Into a daybreak that was now full of abnormalities

Whereas I sought my succor on the fevered terraces

Of a most perpetual and shape shifting sleep

I just smiled like the false colors of a brigand

As an archipelago of unbelievable silence

Greeted my long wandering and foot sore feet

As it provided me with wine and meat. 



I Can’t Remember Me


The mist shrouded shores of my baroque delirium

Wane with impulses both impeding and unchecked

And blood thirsty and irresistible is my flickering mercy

As it shatters into shards of the most fearsome of dreads

As I arise with the night from my crystal mausoleum

That gives off an effluvia that reeks of a most apocalyptic musk

Till at dawn my somehow still perambulating bones

Must be returned because of daylight’s intimidating pause

To my native soil where temporarily freed from my lust

I enter a coma as gentle as Skull Island

All though the brightly colored afternoon

Till by the first tendrils of moonlight

I am revived to feast slowly and with great savor

On the Earth’s serene and unconscious children

Sweeter even then Mrs. Lovett’s pies 



Love Note to Ms Shelley


In the half extinguished convulsive movements of infinite and devoured forms

Is a catastrophe most devastating whose watery shriveled eyes disappeared into ice floes 

Made monstrous and lonely as the disappearance of a wedding night

 As seen through the arctic wastes of a cabin window far out to sea

Where Faust is at last revealed as your aristocratic suitor

Who wears snatches of the guilty mask of heartbreak

And where the first time we touched

In the frosty forget and forgive of your hand drawn fable

That legendary book of mishaps and unjust juju

Long aspired to by the bewildered jester who was the creature

As he plucked the various strings that flickered behind his heavily hooded eyes

Creeping and whispering while his heart beat out an inarticulate rhythm

That was stitched together from his almost human fears

By a pit of sulfur scientist who thought that he could manufacturer

The soul of a man that could contain and quantify

The philosophic aspects of human loneliness but do to most inexpert craftsmanship

And the mishap of a criminal brain frozen in a block of underground cannibalistic pools

Announced the approach of a sad victim though not quite a will-less zombie

Restored to an abnormality that is uncontrolled with prayers

In an evil laboratory of offerings most dangerous and so malevolent

That none could control its grisly hands joined at the waist

As it lived in the hole that had assumed a most terrifying form

That is easily explained in the body of a hideous man-eating fairy tale

That became an old legend as it arrived on America’s shores

With such shocking repercussions that it forgot that it originated in the treetops

Of the hookah hallucinations of a lonely young woman wandering and departing in the clouds

From a castle on a lake till she with a ballerina’s movements

That were like the undead cries of her lost children

Wrote it down for the astonishment of poets

Then planted it in the ground and what came forth on the printed page sent all literature into a rage

And thus was set the stage for all that since has passed

And that is still as beautiful down through these centuries as the features of this demure lass

Who rocked the cradle that brought forth what a scalpel can revive but not abort

And which will forever creep by lightning’s light through imagination’s night

And which has long been the only cloak that offers me

Any comfort from this world of sin if not any discernible warmth


To The Unknowing Eye


There is blood on all the blaring sirens

That leap from the shadows of all lynchings

Like a nightmare made from scratch

And as I try to tiptoe across this landscape

Of black scissors and grim futures

That have turbaned footprints

All is uncertain and mercurial

Like a dark cramped cul-de-sac

Where a partly demonic Ouija board

Is moving of its own handwritten accord

As it lays on the long un-mowed yard

Of a house of darkness that long ago died

By its own hand and which now dances with

The supernatural events that have the foulest odors

And the psycho son of all these transparent echoes

Left behind by people with purposes unknown

This thing with eyes bulging up towards the bottom

That has fallen out

Slithers forward with a terrifying roar

Like a bedwetting nightmare

That you had when you were four

Obviously flesh hungry even though he lacks a face

As he begins speaking a strange language

In a way that leaves me weak

Until I zoom down a hallway of screams

That spins the wheel of my shattered sanity

And leaves me having seizures

And babbling about how the things run amok

Have a very old coat of paint

On that unwanted day when the mysterious drops on you

And you become the saint of this ghost ship floating

Where they long ago cut the wires

To what little we cycloptian know

In this world that each day resembles

Nothing so much as some lost episode of the Twilight Zone





A Punt Down Fever River

Night comes on as the heroin tracks of the pouring rain
Cast menacing shadows in the oblivion of it’s disconnect
That cause everyone’s face to become a creeper
As they crawl and bark in your collapsing veins
I won’t be going to that party
Lit only by the neon mistakes of a darkness
That has so many layers as it bristles in the inky black
Of suffering seizures during the ferocious seconds
That flail like a squid giving birth to a satanic creature
And one who appears to be their messiah at that
And nightmares that died alone in the street
Get chopped up inside of my head
The hot gravy blood flowing off the knife
Has a underwater sound
And I can still hear her wild stallion
Heartbeat in the goose bumps of her memory
And in the lap of the ocean waves
As they flicker their tongues
About the sad and tragic day
That the ultimate darkness first became
Her secret boyfriend before it slit her throat
Like a canceled check on which you have stopped your pay
Way up in the pristine hills that tossed and turned
In the disarray of her troubled sleeping
Until my insomnia became an X-acto knife
Because of the secrets that I have long been keeping
On that day that I was first banished
Into a herd of swine and became cliff bound till the end of time.

How Like A Chainsaw’s Scream

My lost childhood was doused with pixie dust
And took place in a diamond mine full of new curiosities
Where finned ladies stirred a cauldron of hallucinations
That had a kind of decay that perched itself on the edge of psychosis
Until it fluttered like a moth into the snow
As it faded into the cliff side of a psychiatric hospital
Where my mysterious demon dogs taught even
The sultan’s daughter the true meaning of fear
In that place where all was mute and Frankenstein’s  Monster like
As it skirted the edges of Vlad The Impaler
And other dreams that got torn apart
As strobe lit weird purple things smothered us in nightmares
That they commanded to turn to dust
And then while I changed myself into something else
Thundering and gloomy by a candlestick’s shaft of light
Then I opened up dusty curtains that cried out in agony
And escaped to where a grainy coachman collapsed inside of his clothes
As I became an evil nobleman of such mournful music
That undertakers removed garlic from their front doors at my very approach
And then while a cute young barmaid fetched me another bottle
My hair turned white overnight as I faced old age and all that it portended
And then with the gurgling of the first rays of the dawn’s early light
Was reduced to what God had long ago intended.

Juxtapositions In Limbo

The dreams that come from nervous breakdowns
Contain bestial prophecies in their trembling scribbling
More acid tasting than a skull faced jukebox’s death lament
And as they chew through their straightjackets
Like aggressive baboons
My flesh turns to hydrochloric acid
In the delirium of my own private sacred grove
As I don the mask of this sick chamber
That is in the most beheaded of all kingdoms
And one which harkens back  to the voices of the dead
So pregnant with divinations as they come at me
Like floating chainsaws out of fog
And then in their hideous auras
As blue and glassy as the rasping sounds
That set off the bareness of my transformation as
I hail Satan and then in a whirl of solid blackness I become a frog


Crawling into the primal terror of darkness
I remember a dream of horrible smothering
That was burned out and like a sound wavering
Where something seemed to move in the confusion
And the terror that I was unable to clarify
A naked face like some strange gelatinous carcass
On an abandoned ship of great despair
Whose cavernous echoes gushed
And then were rescinded  
And then frozen like a retracting disease
In that maze of dank screeching
Where I awakened to the barren faint meow
That brings on remembrance
Yet now that the macabre teeth are almost upon me
And the horrible reverberating hiss of what was once
The old alley cat that we once christened Princess
When we smuggled her aboard
Little dreaming that our furry reminder
Of our far away home would mate
with something that only it could see or sense
And would bring forth that which has now grown hungry once again
After first gorging itself on all the others
And so comes now undulating and slowly giggling
To feast upon the last one still breathing
And the one whose idea it first was to bring a feline with us
Into places man was never meant to go
In the quest of knowledge well beyond us all
In the quest of things we have no right to know.

Waltz of the Luminous Blasphemies

In an old Victorian house that has been long perishing
Scooped out like the insides of a pumpkin now
Something glows in the dark with a lime green glimmer
Like eyelids fluttering behind a mask
And as the glittering spider webbed moon arises
Stirring up all the bones once hidden by autumn leaves
In the jeweled tail feathers of a graveyard
Where things go on that are hard to believe
And it drapes all of October in eerie hues
As ghostly apparitions flit about the petrifying horror
Of the approaching midnight hour
Releasing a bewitchment on the haunted city below
That is too afraid to sleep near its own dark harbor
Where the Flying Dutchman briefly stops
To take on provisions to take on a fresh crew
As I climb its serrated edged staircase
To the starry night swirling flocked
With purple feathered ravens
With furiously beating wings
I realize that since the hour of my birthing
That I was put here to be part and parcel
Of all these strange and oh so wondrous things

Just A Shadow?

Skeletons of leaves dance in the graveyard near the pumpkin patch
The hour I’ve been most anticipating has arrived on raven’s feet at last
In the rock candy large brush strokes of a drooling painting
Created in yon distant pumpkin tower
Where once was conjured up the still much discussed
Hudson River Valley’s premier jack- o- lantern
That has long rested in a hand that no longer knows its head
And is attached to the ghastly rider
Who has a laugh like bedsprings rusty and squeaking
And who needs no vocal chords to do his speaking
As he pronounces that he will haunt your dreams forever
Once it is him you have been meeting
For he is the king of all fear
And once it is his name you hear
You too will agree that he is
The overlord of all misrule and disharmony
As he once was and will forever be
Nightmare without end

Twisted Ruminations

Night is a secret world

A rusted hour glass

Whose boneless magic

Grins and trembles

In the olden shifting

Of forever bountiful shadows

Where starlight drips

With the saliva

Of hallucinations

Till the ancient gates

Of my very blood

Tighten down
Into a farewell
Until my name
Is only wanderings
In the ominous flesh
Of a brain that grinds the jade
Of the fearful unknown
And other vast strange things
That seek out my body
Like a blade to see what
Forbidden delicacies it might contain .

Strange Entities

Dusk was like a suitcase covered with old stickers
As I made eye contact with harvested cornfields
Now overgrown with tall weeds
That promised a midnight of gooseflesh
And faint moans vandalized by smoky images
Like the lost keys to an old building
Lingering in the gray zone
By antiquated crossroads
Entangled and interconnected
Into the now deceased night
As a sky full of cobwebs
Created in secret by persons long gone
Seconds later it was vanishing
Like a hush in a chapel that cannot last
Beautifully carved like a foreign coin
That you refuse to turn into cash
Leaving me doubting my oft times
Fanciful senses as I continued my journey
Down roads framed by fences.

Peeled Back Layers of Cloven Hooves

The antiquity of midnight is discernible
Only in the unbelievable
A snake eating its own tail
That echoes in the frazzled disembodied voices
Of demons stacked up like Lego blocks
Lately burst out of the drain of memories
That has been wiped away
Leaving behind only a muddy pallet
Of menace that never falters when it hunts for prey

Mysterious Feasts

Howling and dreamless unknown nightmares
I am hidden by all that goes unnoticed
Submerged in cornfields beneath the too full moon
My mind is trapped in a splintered birdcage
Slowly decaying at the bottom of a swimming pool
Full of shallowly breathing ghosts
And like severed thumbs dissolving
Into champagne bubbles that morph into
Something stranger and fur covered
That simmers as it reaches threat level orange
There is no amnesty in yonder mansion
Where scarlet dreams whimper so rough hewn
While wandering wolves lately crawled from their dens
To frolic in the stillness of my sinister slumber
Where I drink down the emerald prophecies
Of the twilight specters who eerily whisper
With voices like twitching scissors
In the carcasses of dead tree roots where blades of red squirm
In the cantos of our shared secrets
Where my Lenore was never Tell Tale
But was indeed the throb of a dream made flesh
Taken away from me by the Pope of all corpses
Whose golden blurring liquid mocks my willpower
Just one more time and then one time more
As it promises vainly that it can persuade me
To think of Lenore never more.

The Froth of Nightmares

Tremulous and shivering was her kiss
As it anesthetized the slits of my mask
And profound and unfounded
Was all that came next
And since I could not move a muscle
I relaxed and bobbed like the detritus
Of a shattered merchantman ship
In the kelp and the reddening tide
Black, oh black were the feathers of her wings
As she gave me all that I had ever thought
That I truly desired
But when paradise’s gates were denied to me
And I was condemned to eternal fire
I wished that I had tarried and lingered longer
Even though most of all that wasn’t very pleasant
For now that I am royalty in Hell
I wish that I was Heaven’s most humble peasant

After Being Disemboweled He Put Back On His Skin

Boney white panic tears by with strangely leering eyes
While faces drift from the charred pit of a rainspout
That has now become more of a flute
And all of this releases the candy corn
That lurks in every shifting storm cloud
Flickering down every street now with feet like rats
As it blows crunching leaves through the protesting corn shocks  
Then gets lost in the death pale ravine that once entered
Provides no way of ever coming back
And someday it will take me with it
To that place I long to go
And whose only sorrow that it lately holds for me
Is that the whole process is far too slow

Lines Scratched Down In Black Soot

A night raven mixed up the shadows of the edge of the cliff
That Edgar Allan Poe finally threw himself off of
A precipice of grog and rotgut and opium pipes
With deep tooth marks and slobber upon their stems
And yet still through it all her too young death most untimely still pecked to get in
As it crawled in the sweat and gooseflesh of his too tight for comfort skin
And yet the old circus of his gauzy voice still slithers and even undulates as it fades
Leaving behind the dancing couplets which marked him as the best one
Whoever bothered to take up the poet’s trade

Black Revelry

The battered objects of my ire
Have all drowned in the torrents of my rage
Off balance because of all my vast rejections
My satisfaction has become disconcerting
As it whines and whistles most deranged
And I am as dreamless as the fear and apprehension
Of the drenched motel where I am pinned to a pressboard
That I wish I could remember
Protruding from a lake of submerged comic books
Slamming through a printing press
That I was asked not to go near to nor to tease
But of course all this I ignored and did as I pleased
And now inside of a giant fog enshrouded birdcage
That I jerry rigged with the circuitry I found
Inside of her nonhuman face
Where after passing through a blown airlock
That had stopped abruptly in midsentence
All who had once wronged me came to know
The wholesale slaughter of my zero gravity
Alien croaks at a rapid pace
Then I unplugged the TV
That I had wanted to reproduce with
Slashed all to hell by unstoppable summers
On worlds now dead
Ready at last to join the conspiracy of paladins
And while unearthly Scottish pipers
Inducted me thus through their droning music
I donned a mask of puppets and mirrors
And fulfilled all the obligations and took all the privileges
Of why Satan first placed me here. 

Breaking Formation

Inexplicable vessels fill the skies
Above blistered landscapes pale and unprotected
Venom soaked wind and sand
Echo with frail nonhuman thoughts
Like great lakes of oil a ‘flame
And as the day wanes
And turns dark and distant
While this glimmering yawning abyss
Dons its armor
A ragged scar cleaves the sky
As a long maintained nightmare
On a half naked way length arrives
And tells me to awaken
To the things that I never even realized
That I had the potential for
But then I am the first Earthman
To leave his planet
And in the long months
And years away from
That place I now abandoned
I’ve tread on vistas like nothing I’ve ever seen
With each day becoming more of an unmoored dream
And whatever I used to be I no longer am
My bones are disappearing
For I have no further need of them
And my so-called brain
Which was once so organized and rational
Now to the strangest conclusions
Glides most casual
And anyway you slice me
I’m now something totally new
And so to come home seems trivial
And for reasons for which I have no clue
So say farewell to my wife and children
Whom with each day fade
From my list of cares and concerns
For I am now lost amongst the stars
And throb with a desire to stay only there

Blues For Norman

(For “Hitch”)

Body ripping transformations on rickety flights of stairs

Your senses are some heightened animal

Whose color keeps changing while you scream and swear

And since Lucifer is always in the middle of such songs

That echo down the balancing act of the paranoia of streets

Poetic and all torn up where all is silver

And bloody fast in the taxidermied subconscious

Whose motel bathroom like his mommy is all dressed up

As he receives a call from his home planet written in a mirror script

Decipherable to him and him alone

Which flutters like the cannibal birds
That once graced her now tattered gown
And can anything be off the menu
When you serve she who will always be
The queen of the papier-mâché coroner’s office
Where you were born all bloody and obscene
And in the midst of all this unraveling in the oddity shop
That is your life where who you really wish you were married to
Gets preserved in all that gets unleashed upon the damaged vocal cords
Of a sane and normal life and yet there is a certain sense to all this chaos
A kind of art indeed which once splattered across the newscasts
Times twenty-four hours will glorify your deeds
And your superstardom will be achieved
Your place in the history books will be all sewn up
Like the mummified eyelids and sawdust choked mouth
That still converses with you somehow
Even though it lacks a tongue and all of this is secret
Because that’s what’s best to you in life
And in the putrefying ventriloquism of your daily existence
You will find satisfaction for a time
But someday there will be questions that must get answered
When the lake is dredged and drained
And though they’ll treat you kindly
Psycho will then become your only name
For they fear all that you’ve accomplished
And your explanation for it all
‘Cause we all go a little mad sometimes
Just kind of makes their blood to boil
And yet the ultimate truth is much simpler
And even purer when finally grasped 
Because a boy’s best friend is his mother
And I guess we’ll just leave all this at that.

Crow Bait

The fleeting funeral march of an empty dream
Slumbers mournful like leaves that wither
When breathed upon by the angel of death
As the red foam upon all battle lances melting like snow
Till it forms a surf like an autumn sunset are his too
For he easily collects all that to him is due
‘Neath the stars that gambol and play
In the twitching sky like a pack of wolves
Arguing over fresh kill that fought hard not to die
And lest we forget how this tumult humbles the far off dunes
Drunk with the iron shard tongues of ancient sacrifices
That were so willingly made with so little provocation
Giving rise to empires and new nations
That acted as flowers for the graveyards of the moon
As they faded away in a fandango of black feathers
And though inching like a glacier still they cut deep
While moving ever more slowly all their promises to keep .


Final orbit

Light-years out omniscient and waiting
Ever waiting 
As boneless and harsh 
As the Martian terrain 
Is something not exactly human 
But that is indeed immortal 
That merged with me 
When I was but a helpless child
And has since then 
Ever called out to me 
Again and again 
Commanding me to come hither 
And for years I resisted 
Until that day 
When all the doorways dissolved 
And I found myself 
In the presence of 
What had beckoned me 
Unaware of what might next be involved 
And as I emerged in its mind screens 
Linked to its pleasure centers
A queasy realization vibrated 
Through my every cell 
That what had called out to me 
Was indeed female 
And had selected me deliberately and well 
And now on that unchartered world 
I merge with her more each day 
Growing more a sulphurous yellow 
With each new tryst 
And prizing more the metamorphosis  
That is my reward 
For her every unearthly kiss .

Jammed Transmissions

In quadrants omnipotent 
Where the peaceful blackness 
Has awakened at last 
In jettisoned star systems 
Where in unknown eons 
Now long fled 
Backwards planets 
Whose unfocused thoughts 
Creaking with antiquity 
In the ancient bones 
Of that frigid void of space 
Here I have lived long 
Orbiting in a distant galaxy all my own 
Through nightlong eons 
Of falter and fail 
A life form now turned to dust 
In a long ago now all gone to rust 
Astride a memory machine steed 
Who reeks with the aroma of decay 
As he gallops through 
This once unbelievable and sentient city 
Leaving no footprints in the lime green rain.

I Have To Keep Her On A Chain

Ken L. Jones

My thoughts are a lavender tinted steeple chase

Where winged horses are tortured routinely

To appease a cat eyed clock

Bloodshed caused by frozen interference

That unleashes the dreadful secrets

That lie buried beneath Jack The Ripper

As I shuffle down this street

That has decaying teeth

Checking always under my bed

Which has a sick love for gutted dogs

And where I dream nightmares and visions

That briefly loan me the gouged out eyes of Poe

All That Remains Unwritten

Ken L. Jones

A flat line gray sea of memorable fever dreams

Forms a dirge most portentous

Where something like freshly mutated

Paper dolls arise from the dead

With a clockwork precision

Shrieking and hacking and slashing

As they turn the Earth to red

And like unexpected deserts receding

While they gleefully spread their reign of sighing dread

That eats away at the bleak autumn night

Releasing souls from Hell

And even more incoherent realms then that

Until the streets flow with the bones and blood

Of deformed elder Gods that no one could love

But who have returned to take back

All that once was theirs

And to make you sorry

That their unnatural slumber

Ever was disturbed

Once While Stumbling Through A Swamp of Dark Genesis
Ken L. Jones

Tumbling in the tattered clothes of shallow thunder clouds
Anesthetized patients bid adieu to their own crushed heads
Peeling off layer after layer of bright red explosions
Flushing like overflowing toilets as they splatter
Into streets that are deserted and drenched from head to toe
With the eternally creepy and the busted baby dolls of their own brain matter
Frozen in an arctic most deliciously evil
With a sleep deprivation that swelters like yellow jackets upon your skin
In a theater box where I saw my own body’s descent into madness
Which carried its own scars within it
And on a graffiti covered bridge that the grim reaper will soon be visiting
Where you have no choice but to become a royal attendant
To heads most roll that is fraught and tense with all that can’t be proven
And where magic and all its connections are merely abandoned cars now
Auditory and visual hallucinations become the plastic dinosaurs
With which my shattered consciousness does play
In a world where TV shows that are out to get you
Are the brightest prospect in the programming day
And as I attempt to set upright on Third Reich furniture
And not slip off because it is drenched in blood
Once more I declare publicly and quite openly
That none of any of this was very much worth it
Except for your own perfect love
Which I will use as my own dim lantern
As I descend to something even worse than all of this
And as I succumb to its sick promise and infinite clatter
I will treasure for all of eternity our final kiss.

On Achieving At Last My True Serpentine Form
Ken L. Jones

Drowning in a surf of choking sobs in a trussed up cove
Where a symphony tremulous and whispering
Melted ominously into the red, red, lips
That snarled from deep within that labyrinth of caves
As it glowed blue with the gibbering offspring of the circus of my reeling brain
Whose mother’s milk seeped from the walls
Of a chamber of horrors ape like and deformed
And in a blurred whiplash quivering
With the welts of all that is truly insane
As it coughed up the blood of a premonition
With the fragrance of unreal footsteps
Whose shuffling malignance was like
A heavy un-oiled door swinging open
Hell born and with the odor of a tomb
As if to remind me that whatever passes for reality was denied me
From before the day I was born and was encoded in me in the womb

Ken L. Jones
Naked butcher knife streets
Growling like a dead woman
Where copy cat incidents
Try to gouge out your eyes
Because they presumed
That you are alone
Though several other prisoners
Hide behind the all too knowing
Grin that you do little to disguise
And when they break free
From their restraints
Unraveling and undiagnosed
And what everyone thinks
Is really you disappears
Beneath an eerie blue glow
That caresses a strangely purple sky
Then comes forth a flesh eating monster
Like some fast moving river
Trailed by an army of rats in its wake
And in the stalk and take down that follows
All becomes a dream
That I no longer recognize myself in
Though to every second of it I more than relate
And then as these visions become a hunchback
And over cathedral spires do scamper away
I awake to the clarinets that are sacred to Persephone
Fascinated as always by the mechanics of all of this
So oscillating so pale in color as it all haunts me still
Even after sixty plus years
And the only way I can keep it at bay for a time
Is to trap it in a notebook like I’m now doing here
The Thief of Blood
Ken L. Jones
He arises from the throat of his grave
With no other thought than to kill
And with fetid breath sallies forth
To work his will as he shambles down a hill
Of tombstones tilting as moonlight spills
And makes of the darkness fragments
Of all that the sun once did love
And then this thing that was born a man
But who lately casts no shadow arises on moonbeams
As if he were being pulled aloft on puppet strings
As the echoing wolves of the countryside loudly salute him
For he indeed is their true king
But is he really as regal as he thinks
And as majestic and untouchable
As he’d like you to believe
If so let us please consider
All that slows him down or causes him grief
Or which can still the unnatural beating of his heart
The whirling odor of garlic keeps him at bay
Any coming dawn can turn him to powder and bones
Drops of holy water are like acid to his flesh
The merest shadow of a cross causes him to cringe and hiss
And if his coffin he cannot reach
Where upon his native soil he must sleep away
The work a day world’s normal parameters untouched and undiscovered
Until he is compelled to resurrect with a thirst unlike any other
Then flits and sneaks on wings no man was ever born with
As he looks for feeding grounds where no proper precautions have been taken
To keep such as he from siphoning and from draining
All that keeps ups ambulatory until none is remaining
And while some would call him the epitome of all dread
He’s nothing but an empty mirror
A cowardly creeper hugging shadows
Simply too stupid to realize he is dead
And that to any person of strong will and true belief
He is an obstacle that can be overcome
He is no aristocrat or seducing lover or warrior chief
To me he is nothing but a thief
A craven thief of blood
The Froth of Nightmares
Ken L. Jones
Tremulous and shivering was her kiss
As it anesthetized the slits of my mask
And profound and unfounded
Was all that came next
And since I could not move a muscle
I relaxed and bobbed like the detritus
Of a shattered merchantman ship
In the kelp and the reddening tide
Black, oh black were the feathers of her wings
As she gave me all that I had ever thought
That I truly desired
But when paradise’s gates were denied to me
And I was condemned to eternal fire
I wished that I had tarried and lingered longer
Even though most of all that wasn’t very pleasant
For now that I am royalty in Hell
I wish that I was Heaven’s most humble peasant
Below The Freezing Mark
Ken L. Jones
The case book of nowhere left to run
Is now on all the TV channels
Wearing nothing but a top hat
And where else to go in all this bleeding
Now that everything is being born dead
And as I began to hallucinate
As I fear to fall asleep
Until I awake hemorrhaging
Trying to stay conscious for awhile
In a tunnel of delirium
That has had its womb cut out
It’s all too dark and nothing has any toe holes
Not even the scavenged copper pipes
Of the Nagasaki goodbye
Of the pestilence that lurks in all the canned goods
And no extraterrestrials are enroute
And the clowns are all in a tizzy
And I have been delivered
To the rat hole of my most deserved punishment
Where I am casually devoured by giant ants
In an imaginary kingdom lately come apart at the

Such Emotions As Get Left Behind
Ken L. Jones

Boney guitar notes heard as they creep and crawl up the dappled hills
The papier-mâché river’s black hair is made of full moon shadows
Above the lace work of towns below like blown out candles nibbled upon
Like a skeleton’s head upon which for too long rats have fed
And fireflies are the only remembers now as they dart up there
Amongst the dissolving tombstones from a long time gone
And one in which much more was allowed in those jack-in-the-box séances
Of forever vanished days in an ancient midnight
Now as dead as some crystal ball long shattered

A Visitation By What Visitor?
Ken L. Jones

Pipe smoke when there’s no one there
An old dark suit held together now only by spider webs
Dust raised by the gesturing of something very much like hands
Dreadful and trembling as it jibbers and wobbles
On the appalling broken bamboo of its legs
As it sets off dogs a’barking while trailing a rotten meat stench
But is it the bloody silence of everything else that frightens me the most
As it drowns me and makes me a ghost
Doomed by my own Hell bent jaws that couldn’t blaspheme fast enough
While my nostrils snorted to signify their lust
As addicts that unfurled with a moldering beckoning
In the black silk twilight where a bone yard stairway
As dreadful as a torn off mask strutted
Like cave paintings sprung to horrible life
Because I was too naïve to run and so was lost forever to me
A thing that I never believed in until I forfeited my own immortal soul for all time

A Dream Out Loud

Ken L. Jones

Dancing dust specks

Of distant guard dogs growled

Fog of night streets like a muddy coffin

Rosettes of alleyways

Where all that has happened

Craves out its own singularly horrible space and time

While the sky broken open like a piñata struck

Shrieked with tongues of rust

In abandoned catacombs of no particular light

Where I passed a hellish night

While my dead mother’s voice

Jumped out of my skin

Then pulled me back into its depths again

While mummified birds

That swooped to attack

Whispered their grimacing laments

Like ten pins being knocked about

In hills where Hendrick Hudson and his crew

Still occasionally cast a long sleep

Upon you with their oh bewitching brew

A Brief Memorandum To My Chilly Associates

Ken L. Jones

All the lines are blurring into macabre silhouettes

That leave bruises upon all my darkest places

As everyone of my conversations

These days end up on autopsy tables

Where they are turned into terrifying extraterrestrial lampshades

Whose tentacled fingers touch you and probe you at the same time

Dream murmurs remembered in the faded bronze stillness

And somber transmissions that creep across the landscape

Wearing battered top hats like frozen corpses now horrible reanimated

As I feast on staircases in a slaughter house

That is almost half naked as I try to focus its blurry image inside of my mind

Here the remains of a human being

Are looked upon as misplaced birthday presents

In the free floating fear that gurgles like a

Legless tea kettle left too long on the stove

While all the while waiting and crouching in anticipation

The hour it will be skinned alive

And then at last will know true repose


After Being Disemboweled He Put Back On His Skin

Ken L. Jones

Boney white panic tears by with strangely leering eyes

While faces drift from the charred pit of a rainspout

That has now become more of a flute

And all of this releases the candy corn

That lurks in every shifting storm cloud

Flickering down every street now with feet like rats

As it blows crunching leaves through the protesting corn shocks  

Then gets lost in the death pale ravine that once entered

Provides no way of ever coming back

And someday it will take me with it
To that place I long to go
And whose only sorrow that it lately holds for me
Is that the whole process is far too slow

Lines Scratched Down In Black Soot
Ken L. Jones

A night raven mixed up the shadows of the edge of the cliff
That Edgar Allan Poe finally threw himself off of
A precipice of grog and rotgut and opium pipes
With deep tooth marks and slobber upon their stems
And yet still through it all her too young death most untimely still pecked to get in
As it crawled in the sweat and gooseflesh of his too tight for comfort skin
And yet the old circus of his gauzy voice still slithers and even undulates as it fades
Leaving behind the dancing couplets which marked him as the best one
Whoever bothered to take up the poet’s trade

Something in The Snow

Ken L. Jones


While coming back by myself from a performance of the Nutcracker ballet
In a part of the country in which my relatives live
And which I never visited before that day
And before which I did a little Christmas shopping
I took a short cut past a forest of pines
With snow on all their toppings
And I stopped briefly by the woods
Like I was Robert Frost to watch the moon rise up in all its full ness
Little realizing the cost of such idle indulgence on my part
For as I became lost in visions and reveries and things from long ago
Remembered overwhelmed me
Something was creeping in the crunching slush
And pinecones downed
Something that avoids all towns
Something dreadful and hard for reason to define
Especially so at Christmas time
And as I listened to the Ray Coniff singers on my car’s CD sing What Child Is This
Which transported me back to the nineteen sixties and the last century
Something was slavering as it drew closer to me
But I would be the last to know as I tripped out on my first kiss beneath mistletoe
That I received from a Swedish American goddess in our church’s basement
At a square dance there
And so I never saw coming that flash of claws and hair
As something tore through my windshield glass
And drew me out through its jagged mass
Then pounced on me as if someone had just sounded the dinner gong
And it was something that had been starving for far too long
And then I realized to late where I was and in what state
The place where the Donner Party long ago
While in a covered wagon train heading west
Had started out far too late
Had succumbed to a long drawn out and awful fate
As snowboundness turned the strange place they had stopped into a Hell both rare and true
When they ran out of normal things upon which to chew
And the meat of their dead friends and even the marrow in their whitening bones
Took on a savor they could not disown
And it is said that all of this hideous gourmetry
Left behind something in the very ground and trees
And that it even impregnated the very air
With the stench and vileness of all that once occurred there
And that this angry madness and this grief
Still even permeates the rocks and the falling leaves
With a hunger that still sometimes manifests
And though most locals now avoid such a place as this
Such a tourist was I that I was about to come dinner
On its rough hewn plate
A Christmas feast for this mindless force
That the sickest of all necessities long ago had set upon its course
And now it was going to eat me raw
And eat me slow and would leave behind
Little by which the authorities would ever know
Exactly what had transpired here
And they’ll list me as missing
I won’t be the first for none can face the real truth
Of what here still lurks
And reenacts upon the unwary
The fact that starvation can make the menu greatly vary
Even at this most peaceful season of the year
And so one last thought as consciousness leaves me
Next Christmas if you receive an invitation
For out of town visiting maybe in your own backyard you should be staying
For sometimes even all of the beauty of t his best of all holidays
Cannot repel or keep away the walking memory of the worst of long past days
That longs to share its misery as its sole gift on a Christmas Eve of deep regrets.

Face to Face
Ken L. Jones

Once long ago when I was a child on Christmas Eve
I ventured down our stairs because of a commotion I heard down there
And was surprised to see Santa Claus
And he was equally startled by me
And he stopped at his labors beneath our tree
And invited me to climb up on his knee
Then more than suspecting that he was my Dad
I gave his full beard a very hard snatch
And was surprised when his whole face came peeling right off
And that what lay beneath it would make an ambulance attendant barf
Why even the Phantom of the Opera looked better than he
For you see his face by fireplace diving had been quite fricasseed
Then he threw me down on the ground
And disappeared up the chimney taking the presents
With him that he was going to give me
And from that long day unto this he has never been back
And I never again received anything wonderful from his big sack
Now I don’t know if curiosity ever killed any cats
But I’ve always regretted that impulsive act
And recommend if you ever find yourself in my place
Take at face value Santa’s face
For if you don’t you might not like what you find
And it will wreck all you Christmases for all time


Ken L. Jones
One morning on what seemed the best one yet
Beneath our tree was left a mysterious gift
Somehow though no one knows how it first got there
A Victorian dollhouse somehow did appear
And my young daughter loved it so
How she squealed did Santa ever know
And though my wife, our other children, and I were puzzled by that
We had other things upon our minds and presents to unwrap
And then the day danced by till it was time for the children to take their naps
And Ma and I by that time needed one too
So soon we all lay down for a long winter’s snooze
When out of nowhere came a storm
That only in the pits of Hell could have ever been born
The kind that takes a home to Oz
And leaves behind shattered house foundations
And debris strewn lawns
And somehow something awoke us just in time to escape with just our very lives
And whatever little we could grab
As this act of God closed upon us fast
 And then it did what it wanted
With such mercilessness
That it made me wonder how we had ever sinned
To have such a judgment as this placed upon me and my kin
And then after it had all faded away and we took a survey
To see what price it would cost us to pay
Then our hearts sank within our chests
As we saw the awful mess
Of all that we had once loved and owned
Now merely slivers and fragments of things unknown
And then I took a tally of what we still clutched
And realized that it wasn’t very much
But then I saw that my youngest daughter
Her new dollhouse had saved
And she was hugging it like it was a newborn babe
And then she did something I still doubt till this day
As she placed it in the dust where only yesterday
Our family house had so long stood
A loving abode of brick and wood
And then she bent low and kissed its chimney top
And watered the thing with tears that came nonstop
As she sobbed a murmured prayer
And then the little house quivered as it sat there
Then shook and expanded at a galloping rate
Till it was full size and looming large
And was now a place of dwelling for men instead of dolls
And the very notion of this all
Caused us to broadly smile
Now this was astonishing but we quickly learned to take it in our strides
As we ventured timidly deep inside
And saw that it was fully stocked
And with all that we would need it was packed
And so it stayed in our family there
From that long ago day to this
Now that young daughter of mine
Who wished into existence all of this
Now has children of her own
Who have moved out because their grown
And I am soon bound for an old folk’s home
But down through all these vanishing days
None of us could ever explain who brought the dollhouse
That could do something so magical
And I’m guessing we will never exactly know
Or how someone knew we’d need it soon
Perhaps there really is something do you think
To the whole idea of St. Nick
But beyond that thought is anybody’s guess
About what happened long ago on that Christmas Day of such distress
And how a tiny edifice meant for china dolls
Could become the salvation of my family one and all
 A Christmas Remembrance For A Town Now As Cold As Bones

Ken L. Jones

In old New Orleans it wasn’t Frosty who wore a top hat
But Baron Samedi  King of the Dead
As down there while carols were played by a jazz brass band
Voodoo drums kept time that pounded as they tingled in your head
And every Mama Loa and Houngan Man selling the one and only original mojo bag
That contained a John De Conquer root
Were more popular at Christmas time than peppermint sticks
Or chocolate gelt or a Christmas stocking’s slide whistle penny flute
Now the man for whom Christmas is all about its true raised the dead
And was even himself on the third day arisen
After his brutal crucifixion but even all of that in numbers pales
When compared to the zombies released from their dirt jails
To join in on the Christmas celebration
Now all of this went on for centuries in one of America’s oldest cities
Till one day the levees broke hard and what followed wasn’t pretty
Now all of this was scattered to the four winds
And all that about in December Satchmo and the Neville Brothers and Harry Connick, Jr
Once did sing was washed away
Until the Queen city became but a shadow of its former self
Which is now well past its day
Because what once made it such a fright fiend’s delight
Even on a Christmas night is now happening secretly and quietly in some other town
Now that not much of the Delta Queen of the Mississippi is hardly left around
But once upon a time it was a far different place
And Christmas wore a skull’s painted on face
As withering African maidens welcomed the yuletide in
Much like they invited the disembodied to take a ride inside of their skin
And I miss it yes I do
Farewell old New Orleans
And Merry Christmas to you and your long vanished voodoo.

Past and Repast

(For Richard Matheson and Rod Sterling whose birth on Christmas Day was a present to us all)

Ken L. Jones

Once in a December season when I was but an old cartoonist
I attended a comic book signing session in my honor
At a specialty shop in my hometown
And when it was done and finished
Then back to my place I was eventually bound
Walking on foot to enjoy the decorations and the scenery
Past bare trees all covered in hoar frost
Past homes and locations that I’d long known
Lost and awash in sentimentality remembering
Much of my six plus decades of rolling and tumbling
While Christmases past went marching through my memories
Like wooden soldiers from Babes In Toyland a’strutting
Then somehow as if a ghost right out of Dickens came a fog unseen unbidden
That left me no other exit but to walk straight through it
And so though it was somehow forbidding
I kept on plodding if only because I was hoping to soon be home again
But I found instead a moist morass that had the gravity of cotton candy as its mass
And as it touched me everywhere I felt a tingling from my feet to my now white hair
And then when some untimely timelessness had passed
And I found my way out of it somehow at last
And saw that much of what I had expected to see somehow appeared altered to me
Was this some parallel dimension such as I had often encountered
In my dealings with popular culture
No somehow that didn’t seem to fit what I was experiencing
No this instead on further study was exactly the places upon which I had just been dwelling
My hometown in the olden days of my youth so golden
When all was better and with promise swelling
And yet as impossible as it might seem
It wasn’t a hoax or imaginary story or a dream
But the streets I had trod when still a lad
And better than that like in my own time Christmas vibrated everywhere
And its spirit did entwine all within its red and green grasp
And the perfection of it all made me gasp
And then before I could be too swallowed up in my elation
I beheld a phantasm coming towards me
And knew immediately what I was seeing
Coming at me on a Schwinn Phantom a’pedaling
Was none other than me
At eight years old tearing through the wind so cold
Enroute I surely knew to where
And so I followed until by and by I came to be there
Twas a grocery store called The Shopping Bag
Now long changed into several other hands currently a La Carnicerneta
That serves the undocumented workers all that they do enjoy eating
And yet back then it was in full vigor and was still serving its original masters
And there was I inside by a comic book spinner rack studying its contents doing the math
That would with my generous allowance allow me to buy a stack of comic books
That would like Aladdin’s flying carpet allow my imagination to fly
And when this transaction was done and passed and I chanced to face myself at last
And tried not to startle him as he walked past
And so I thought to catch his attention by uttering something that I hesitate to mention
A minor act of vandalism he had recently successfully completed
And one for which he would never be caught
And which to another living person about it he would never tell
And then perhaps thinking me some lawman
He agreed to sit on a nearby bus bench
And listen to all that I had to say
Then feeling quite emboldened I revealed to him who I really was
Thought it really shook his mind an examination of my wallet’s contents by him
Calmed him down enough to believe his eyes
My driver’s license helped a lot
But an old dog eared photo of me with my mom, my sister and my pop
Convinced him sure that his future self was by him sitting there
Then he said I’ve seen stories like this a time or two in comic books 
And on Mr. Sterling’s TV show do you have something dire of which to warn me
A path to avoid that is waiting for me
And thinking hard on all this I told him no
But then I took the opportunity to explain his future goals
That a cartoonist he would someday be
And that he should never give up if he fails at it the first few times or three
And that someday when comic books cost dollars instead of a dime
That he would be known for such talents far and wide
And while this pleased him he still wondered why
Through time I had traveled and with him now did abide
Didn’t I have surely some great truth that I could relate
Which he could remember and cling to at future dates 
And then after I thought awhile I looked into the eyes of myself as a child
And said Christmas I whispered and he replied by asking me what I meant
And I said never miss one nor not enjoy it to the fullest
Or you will regret the loss of the most precious of seasons you can bet
And even when the rest of the year your patience has fried take refuge in it
Like the safest harbor a boat can make or get
For at its core is the truest truth and it will always comfort you
And will multiply what you put into it like fishes and loaves
And the new wine that it offers will warm your soul
And always remember to give as well as receive
And to honor December and all its gravid promise
Which is more than worth the trouble each year to harvest I do believe
And I could tell by the look upon his face that he understood me perfectly
And would heed all that I had to say
And then I added one more time
Never again break someone else’s window glass
And promise me that on the law’s side you from now on will always be at last
And then he nodded and wiped tears away
And said he’d be good till his dying day
And I just chuckled to myself but didn’t correct him
Because I already knew that after this such bad actions would neglect him
And then something even stranger than all of this enveloped me
As I felt myself unraveling and as I started to dissolve and fade away
I wished him a Merry Christmas and he wished me the same
And then my consciousness I lost for how long is hard to say
Until a torrential rain awoke me startled on that day
And I could tell by how shopworn everything around me seemed
That I was back in my proper century
And then I raised my weary bones and trudged off longing to get home
Glad that I had landed once again in the midst of Christmas
Vowing to savor it not to miss it
And as I left I sang a carol quite out loud and didn’t care who heard
And then sang several more the entire length of my trip away from there
So footsore to where my family waited
Anxious to get all this down on paper
Before a single detail I might omit
Glad I’d been able to give myself a gift
Even if through time I had to trip
And my own advice to me as a child might apply to you as well
Now if you’ll excuse me I still have much to do
And one more thing Merry Christmas to you

A Chilling Chanty

Ken L. Jones

A while back during a horrible storm way off the Eastern coast a family yacht went down

And though all on board made good their escape and none of them did drown

Still the children who were there were sad as they could be

For Christmas time was only hours away and now they no longer

Had presents and they had lost their tree

And  it was doubtful their father said because of the fog

And their being so far off course if land might even get sighted before the yuletide

From all other days did seek its yearly divorce

And then as if from nowhere an island appeared

One that to the father was most unexpected

And there wasn’t much upon it but the family was glad to note

That there a lighthouse had been erected
And so they made their way across the small island
To its only edifice but were dismayed that all was in ruins
Unmanned and indeed was long neglected
Still anything was better than being out in the elements
And they were soaked right to the skin
And so they carefully worked their way inside
Past cobwebs debris and dust, dust, dust
That met them at every inch
And as father struck a glow stick
And by its eerie dancing and green light
They beheld what waited for them
As refugees from the stormy night
Then candles were found that were still functional
And they were lit and a survey taken
Of what might still be there that might keep body and soul alive
And then came sighs of disappointment from all concerned but Dad
For there was no food nor fresh water nor anything much like that to be had
Still there were beds enough for all concerned
Covered by quilts and feather downs
And so out of their wet clothes which they then hung up to dry
Then off to bed they were bound
And yet the children cried themselves to sleep
And not so strange was that
For Christmas morn’s once expected glories were only hours away
And now there would be none of that
Still there was something nice about being alive
Especially after Mom reminded she of them
Of the inconvenience and privation into
Once had been born the Savior of all men
And if that was good enough for him
Then who were they to expect better
On the day that celebrated his nativity
And so as the candles dripped then died
Then stillness and only shadows reigned
Some creeping force began moving about
And since it was neither sinister nor strange
The exhausted refugees ignored it and succumbed to a deep and peaceful sleep
Then hours passed and the dawn arrived and with it the smells of a feast
So hungry was the family that they all did quickly arise
And let out gasps even Mom and Dad at what awaited their startled eyes
For in the night some benevolence had done great work to make sure
That Christmas did truly arrive
A tree was waiting there all trimmed to a T with decorations from the last century
And beneath it presents of every kind
Several for each kid and a full course dinner set
And waiting there of which they soon partook
Now after these hungry ones ate their fill and drank some Christmas punch
Packages were unwrapped and stockings emptied out
Then bulging tummies were gently rubbed
Now the holiday loot it was varied but two of them stood right out
A teddy bear for the little girl and a nutcracker
That was gifted to the son who was a fidgety sprout
And somehow all of this was still new though surely of an earlier time
And in fact the whole celebration was
Even though how that could exactly be was extremely hard to define
And then just about then some unrecognized voices echoed just outside
Which soon were revealed upon inspection to be the Coast Guard’s search and rescue pride
And they were friendly but puzzled too at what they beheld with their eyes 
And then the oldest one who was their leader cleared his throat and said
If it goes no further than between us all I might have an explanation
Once years ago when I was a boy my father had the job     
To bring supplies out to this lonely place and I often tagged along
Now the lighthouse man back when this place was still up was quite a man
A curmudgeon whose name was Jason Ruff
Now old Jason was a tough old bird but one soft spot had his heart
At Christmas time anything to do with it he always played the largest part
So I guess his ghost much like Marley’s did figures in your own personal Christmas Carol friends
And it seems that Jason instead of Santa Claus made sure
That all the proper December 25 necessities were provided in the end
And even more unexpected than that is the fact of what first apprised us of your plight
For you see this old place’s beacon shone bright throughout the long and stormy night
What‘s so unusual about that father said scratching in question his head
Just that the beacon up yonder is long broken and should have never have worked again
So father and the old man checked that fact round about
And found the top in ruins with the light source long doused out
Now the family were all taken home and kept their presents the rest of their days
And as all concerned vacated the island one more miracle held its sway
For as they left all agreed a hand accordion was squeezed
And croaked out dissent God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen on the breeze
And all of them knew without even discussing it that it was Jason Ruff
Saying a fond farewell to them
And wishing them peace on earth and goodwill to all men

Once upon A Time In A Den Of Infamous Resort

(In fond memory of my childhood friend Rudy Ray Moore who gave me the tools to tell such a story with correctly)

Ken L. Jones
There once was a fat man named Eddie
Who rarely had a job and was personally unsteady
He had children all over the place
And none of them in wedlock
Which he considered a disgrace
Now baby mamas he had a score
Including the current one that he hardly adored
All he did was get drunk and high all day
In his girlfriend’s rental garage
From noon to long after midnight held its sway
While chain smoking cigarettes and picking fights with his neighbors
Who hated him and his clan and the endless parties that they favored
Now there was an Eddie Jr. who was like a clone of him
And he was also a real bad sort
Even though he was not yet ten
Now the only normal thing about him
Was that Christmas was soon coming
And he hoped to receive some toys
If on Santa’s nice list he was in the running
So to his so-called Dad he made this request
And the first few times Eddie replied with his ham sized fists
And then the hatchet faced chick with whom him he was shacked
Told him to find their child some toys for Christmas instead of giving him a smack
And since she not Eddie was the man of the house
He staggered downtown to see what wasn’t nailed down or might be lying about
Then near his home away from home a sleazy bar
He noticed for the first time a toy collection center for poor girls and boys
In the shape of a large fiberglass bell jar
And what he could see in there struck Eddie
As a potential Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ style cave full of the kinds of treasures
That his fat son for Christmas so did crave
And so after midnight he went a’ shopping
As back with his old pickup truck he came a’ hopping
And with a panty hose mask upon his face
And mud smeared all over his license plates
He soon arrived to do with a crowbar and a hammer
What the North Pole refused if only to shut up
His illegitimate kid and his common law flooze’s yammer
Now the repository in question was fairly well secured
And it took some work and sweat to get it to give up what it held in there
But of such dishonest efforts Eddie had more than an abundance
And soon its contents were spilling forth
And then were pilled real high in the back of his beat up Ford
Than Eddie jumped in and yelled all aboard
Then quicker than a snowflake is made to fly
Eddie made good with his Christmas presents he didn’t have to buy
And then back to the rented shack he made good his escape
Secure in the knowledge that he had provided well for his son’s upcoming Christmas Day
But then the next morning when he had slightly sobered up
And was checking out his boost
He decided it was too good for the boy who was his junior
And thought of all that he might do for himself if he fenced all that he had light fingered
Then still pajama clad little Eddie happened to wander out of the house
And a smile crossed his face when he saw all of these donated wonders
That his father had so crudely plundered
And the boy danced around and bounced with glee
And squealed look what Santa had come and left early for me
Then Eddie told the unfortunate lad to hit the bricks
That none of this was his to be had
And that indeed it was all for some other kids
And Eddie Jr. broke down and sobbed and wailed
And said Daddy you stole all of this I’m gonna tell on you
Then you’ll go back to jail
And this indeed was the straw that broke the camel’s back
And Eddie on his own son with his doubled up first reared way back
And drove him head first into the garage’s thick wall
Where his skull split opened and his brains came a’ tumbling out one and all
And then with a gurgle the kid’s lights went out
And Eddie hardly cared for never again would he have to pay
To stuff his son’s hungry mouth not even one more day
And though what happened next sounds like some crack head’s bum trip
I swear to god that it actually occurred to Eddie
And was no figment courtesy of a bong
Or a bottle of generic tequila that he sucked on for too long
As Eddie began to shrink down to about the size of a rat
Then something happened that was even stranger than that
As all the toys sprang suddenly to life
And that  they were out to get revenge no one can deny
Now such items of great joy they are usually such fun
But when they want to avenge a fallen child look out everyone
And they did it slow and they took their time
For now fat Eddie was on their dime
Now that the action figures and wooden soldiers and plastic dinosaurs
Were capable of such mayhem there should be no surprise
But it was the other more benevolent seeming toys who gave to their appearance a lie
For they seemed to contain behind their painted smiles all the fury of Hell
Which they rained down on this human disgrace this killer of a child
And Eddie took it like a woman and was soon down on his knees
Begging for his miserable life as he sobbed and wheezed
And then one of their number who was a fairy queen
Flew forward to him and waved her wand in the breeze
And muttered a spell most grim
Then Eddie screamed in agony as his consciousness grew most dim
And then when he awoke in the dark eons later it seemed
Hearing a ratcheting cranking and music that sounded as if it was being squeezed
Out of some kind of a mechanical device that slowly was a’ plinking
Then up through the air he felt himself fly almost without thinking
Or at least his upper torso which was now on a spring drive
And old Eddie wanted to scream but no longer did his vocal chords thrive
As he realized that he was now a jack in the box and part of a child’s hoard of such objects
With which they continually and most roughly play
And that he would be one to his longest undying day
For all kinds of different hells exist you see
And this is the justest one of all for evil old Eddie
For he who once was the most jobless sinner
Whoever crawled the face of the Earth
Was at last in his rightful place as a child’s source of great mirth.
Christmas Eve Takes Its Course

Ken L. Jones
Oh I’m a lucky man and I have an incredibly beautiful wife
Which is strange because I’m quite plump
And to say that I’m not handsome would be quite polite
Now my wife she doesn’t care a thing about my weight
In fact she goes out of her way to see that I’m well fed
With fattening foods upon my plate
And the snacks that she provides me are much too good on which to take a pass
And so I’ve gained hundred pounds since I first married her just a few months back
I no longer work a job but she is quite alright with that
Her salary gets us comfortably quite along
And the only thing that she wants in return
Is that I go with her to her parent’s house on Christmas Eve
And on that point she is quite firm
And since I’d never met them yet I tell you and you can believe
That’s why I’m here now with my in-laws and their friends upon this Christmas Eve 
And they  are the most peculiar looking and acting lot this side of the Addams Family
And they keep eyeing me as they whisper quite conspiratorially
But I keep trying to ignore all them by staring at their gaudy tree
Or else by watching It’s a Wonderful Life upon their TV screen
Anything is better than interacting much with them
And of all this I hope my wife she doesn’t mind
Anyway they’ve handed me lots of hors d'oeuvres and juicy candy treats
And I guess so far I’ve went through three brandy snifters and a bottle of potent Christmas wine
And when I ask what’s for dinner they all smile such knowing smiles
And my mother-in-law says come on out and I’ll show you and then we’ll chat for a short while
Then I stumble out oblivious and do not see it coming
 My wife with a slaughter house mallet who gives my head a drubbing
Then as I awake concussed and seeing double all the time
I realize by the way that I’m now trussed up that upon we they will dine
That I will be the main course at their Christmas banquet and realize way too late
Why such a pretty woman as my wife was even willing to give me our first date

The Perfect Tree
Ken L. Jones
Once there was a boy who loved Christmas time
What he liked best of all about it was the live Christmas tree pine
That he picked out and purchased
Then in his little red wagon did take home
From the tree lot next to the grocery store in his own local home town
Now this year when he went down there
What met his eyes caused him to tearfully stare
For both the lot and the old grocery store where now long gone
And replaced by a big box chain affair so huge and so long
And then as he turned and started to leave
Someone tapped him on the shoulder and it was some weird looking sleaze
And it turned out to be a stranger shadowy and much older than he
Now the boy should have ran but for some reason didn’t
As the eerie man asked him where Santa would now be placing his presents
And as the boy began in earnest to cry
The sinister man told him now dry your eyes
For I know of a lot full of live trees not far from here
I’ll give you the directions and I’ll meet you down there
And then he did so and then into the shadows soon disappeared
Now something about this should have made the young man run away
Or cry out for help as in that very place he should have stayed
But his desire to have a live tree instead of the artificial kind
Made him throw all caution to the wind
As past the wrong side of the tracks he traveled so swiftly it made his head spin
Then he beheld a large Christmas tree lot
Where every one of them was made out of wood
And then as if from nowhere the stranger once again by his side stood
And said here’s the place I was talking about
The best and tallest trees here are way in the back
Why don’t you go and I’ll cover the cost after you pick one out
And though something about all this still seemed too good to be true
The trees looked too inviting for him to take a pass like he normally would do
And so as he worked his way into its depths
With a little too much trepidation
Something happened that would have normally caused a great elation
For as if from out of nowhere fell from the sky
A flurry of snow that caused the boy to ask why
This was happening in Orange Country, California
On a day that had been predicted as being eighty degrees
Why the weatherman never even gave a hint that things might freeze
And yet this white Christmas miracle inspired no songs
And instead was full of sad sighs and deep mournful howls
And something that sounded like children bawling
Coming from every direction at once as his name they were all a’calling
And it startled the boy and caused him into one of the trees to bump
And when the pine let out a growling string of curse words the boy almost jumped
For he recognized the voice as belonging to a neighborhood friend
Who had been missing since last Christmas time and he thought he would never see again
And then squinting closer he saw that familiar face
That once with him around the neighborhood sidewalks on razor scooters did race
And yet somehow his friend was far from the same
And then in an instant he knew exactly who was to blame
For whatever it was it was now more pine tree than it was a young man who once had a name
And as the boy turned and wished he could scurry
He found that he could not for his feet had grown tap roots
That rooted him to the spot and had done so in a hurry
And as he looked at his hands he let out a shriek
For they were now green and full of pine needles from which sap did leak
And so he realized as his heart did break
That he had truly and genuinely made a terrible mistake
For somehow he was now becoming what he loved best in the world
And would be for all time a tall and majestic yuletide pine  

Advent of Fear

Ken L. Jones

It was just after Halloween that a yard sale was found
By a collector of Christmas decorations in an obscure part of town
And there amongst the usual garbage and over priced bric-a-brac
Next to a spice tray and a small luggage rack
Was an advent calendar three-dimensional and looking quite old
And though cobwebbed and dusty it was pure collector’s gold
Now the browsing buyer tried to keep a poker face
As he asked the price of it from the owner of the place
And when the word free was uttered in reply
The collector should have known something was wrong with this spectacular of a prize
But too greedy for such objects indeed was he
So he snatched it thanked the man and to his car did flee
And then two hours later was home all alone
Examining the new acquisition to his collection which was his now to own
Now just in case you don’t understand what an advent calendar is let’s take a pause
It’s a way of measuring the December days it takes for Santa Claus
To arrive in town with his toy stuffed sleigh
And it is a grand way to measure each century’s long day
For when each new date’s door is opened a surprise you will find
Usually candy or a small toy or something of that kind
And so you can see why the collector longed to display such an item
Because with such special stuff you should never try to hide them
And so long after Thanksgiving had been and arrived
As he turned over his house to Christmas time
The advent calendar was given a place of honor indeed
Newly refurbished, gleamingly polished and he was really pleased
Then that very midnight on the last of November something happened that was oh so sinister
As this object of wonder took on a look as if it had been cursed
And belonged on the cover of some scary book of verse
The doors of each day were now sprung and at half-mast
And even much worse its cobwebs had returned with spiders a’crawling
And every inch of it was covered in dust so thick it was almost appalling
Now when the collector awoke the next morning and wanted to begin the day
With a piece of peppermint candy that he had hidden away
Behind the door that marked December’s start
He found instead a parchment yellowed
And covered with ink that throbbed like a human heart
And then he found printed therein in
What looked liked splattered blood on tanned human skin
The following poems that only a lunatic could ever truly comprehend
And I know of what I speak for don’t you see
The man who owns this abomination is indeed me
And so each day now until the twenty-fifth
I will share with you my advent calendar’s horrible gifts
A poem each day that while about Christmas time
Might remind you more of a few weeks earlier
When trick or treating was still on our minds
Now dear reader enter freely and of your own will
And drink deeply of my calendar’s unearthly chills
And may they warm you like Yule logs used to burn a witch
As like a man made monster each line is stitched
To let out the werewolf that within us all howls
Even at that time of year when we deck the halls.

Close Encounters of A Christmas Kind
Ken L. Jones

On Christmas evening while hurrying for last minute gifts
I jogged down to The Emporium through a large vacant lot
Then while I was doing this I couldn’t believe my eyes
Because there appeared above me something metallic
And unknown in the evening skies
I tried to run away but found my feet rooted to the spot
And then a purple beam came out from its iris door and caught me quite up in it
Then before I knew it like Superman I could fly
And then before I could clear my head my captors I espied
Now they were gray and lanky and had giant balding heads
Their fingers were like tentacles and that raised goose bumps on my flesh
And not a trace of emotion did I see in their pupil less eyes
As I protested my captivity and then one of them telepathed why into my mind
And I tried to explain to them about Christmas time
And about its celebrated birth and then they said yes we know he was one of us
And we sent him to the Earth and in fact this very ship you see
Was the star The Wise Men knew
And we don’t like what you did to him when you killed him on a cross
Because some said he was the King Of The Jews  
Now it’s true that we revived him and took him back from whence he came
Then he taught us of this Christmas which we still celebrate to this day
In fact that’s why we took you because earthman don’t you see
My daughter wanted a man for a pet for Christmas
One a of good pedigree
And so now on a planet close to the Alpha Centuri star I think
I’m a faithful homo sapien named Bowser
And all day long I perform stupid human tricks
For just some food and drink and I do it by the hour
And it’s all quite humiliating and I often wonder if any of this
Would have happened if I didn’t wait till the last minute to shop for Christmas gifts.

Carol of The Dead
Ken L. Jones

Once while walking to a Christmas Eve party
In a part of town I’d never yet chanced to be in
I happened past a vast expanse of real estate
That was the final resting place of children, women and men
A graveyard so ancient in this long lived town
That I suspected for centuries that some of its denizens had slumbered underground
And yet in shafts of moonlight frosted I swear that I saw
Someone who though without a clearly definable face
Resembled Santa Claus
And he was tapping on each tombstone
And each crypt as if to awaken the very dead
Then in swirls and vapors there appeared
Such shades all dressed in the vintages and fashions of long bygone days
And then in short order appeared to my wondering eyes
Such a celebration as I have never before espied
A Christmas party for the dead
And one mixed up of equal portions of conviviality and dread
And I stood helpless in that spot too panicked to even move
As I watched them dance and sway to the melodies of ancient Christmas tunes
And feast on things that weren’t really there
While I heard Merry Christmases being exchanged amongst
Their disembodied ranks quite everywhere
And though I said not a word they must have smelled my flop sweat
And so descended on me and so I too have joined the ever swelling ranks
Of the not exactly dead as if I had a choice on that night
When my Christmas present was a premature burial and an early death
Now every yuletide season I too join them in their eerie revels
So beware ye living if we catch you spying on our fun
Or you will soon go to the Devil
And when he’s done with you
You’ll sleep next to me in a nameless sepulcher
And then you will doze away each year until the night
That season’s greetings is most resoundingly said
In this place I now live in the city of the living dead

Frankenstein’s First Christmas
Ken L. Jones

I have too many birthdays to pick out just one
And Halloween was tailor made just for me
And yet what does all this Christmas talk mean
I’m hearing all the time
To the green stitched up creation of Dr. Frankenstein
To all the legion who comprise me
This season is at best a vague and jumbled memory
And besides as a composite I’m quite a new thing
So my first Christmas should befit a creature
Who was built to be mankind’s ruling king
Now what do we know of all this
Let me see it all has something to do with a tree
With shiny things upon it that are nice to see
And beneath it all manner of items
Wrapped up in pretty paper and ribbons and bows
And its best celebrated when there’s lots of snow
And then there’s that baby but what is that to me
I was born full grown and exactly as you see
And everyone is saying peace on Earth and goodwill to men
Does that apply to a collage of many graves who is as ugly as sin
And even if I wanted to what gift might I give
Perhaps I might be tempted to spare a life
I might let the next one who persecutes me from our encounter live
Now let’s see what else I can recollect
They say the man this day is for came back from the dead
According to some reports it is said
Did he have a scientist cackling
Who called down the lightning to revive this lad
Or was he reanimated by some other method
And did his revival make him sad
Now all of this just hurts my head
And I doubt if I fit into any of it
Since I am the harbinger of all dread
And perhaps it would be best for all
If I hide high in the hills until all this passes by
Like some red and green clad blur
Dashing like a sleigh ride across the winter’s sky
Now please excuse me I feel a need to cry
And to be alone but when Christmas is done
Stay close to your home
And lock the doors and the windows too
For once again I will be on the prowl for yours and you
But until that happens enjoy this amnesty
Because peace to you is my bequest
For something about Christmas resonates
Deep even in me the wretch
Who wishes all the time
With all of his crazy quilt of souls
That he had never been reborn
But probably never more I’m guessing so
Than on this fast approaching Christmas morn

A Midnight Christmas Feast

Ken L. Jones

One deep snow of an eggnog night
As batwings spread against a frosty moon
Man sized was the burden that they bore
And as this night dancer touched down
By a home snowbound 
Holiday revelry echoed from within
Propelled by a punch bowl of festive gin
And once the stranger had been personally invited within
By the mistress of the house
He carefully avoided every mirror
And the wall mounted crucifix that was there
No offered hors d'oeuvre crossed his lips
He turned down wine in a Santa cup
And then when all the revelers had drifted
Back to their far off comfy hibernations
He stepped out of the expanding living room shadows
And set about his intended labors
Alone with the beautiful hostess was he
And he mesmerized her as he approached her
Near the floor bound Nativity
Then by the light of the pulsating tree
Canine fangs found her icy white perfect neck
And then the libations he craved most were quaffed at length
Now never had he drank such blood
So over the limit so thick with fermented sludge
And by the time the deed was done
He was indeed drunker than any skunk
Then from the house he reeled and staggered
Three sheets to the wind as they used to say
And realized that he was too crocked to fly away
Then he looked for further nourishment to sober him up
From his inebriated roundelay
Then through his haze he spied
The outline of a man in the distant shadows
Standing still and oblivious to his plan
And hoping this new plasma might have the effect
Of several cups of hot black coffee
He drunkenly reeled up on the stranger
And gave his jugular a popping
But then to the humanoid bat’s great surprise
Nothing expected awaited him in that neck
Only the coldest meal he had ever heard of
Even more frigid than the storming weather that raged on yet
And as he tried to get away and found that he could not
He remembered a yuletide movie he had in former pre-vampiric days seen
That had a boy named Flick who had stuck his tongue
To a frozen pole and could not get away
And then the undead nether creature laughed bitterly
As he realized that he too had done something similar
But didn’t exactly understand why
His victim he had so poorly chosen
Was holding him prisoner by and by
And then hours later when the first rays of the sun
Revealed the vampire’s serious and last mistake
Was a jolly snowman he had tried to vamp
Instead of a party straggler who had forgotten to stumble away
And all this proved deadlier to him than holy water or a wooden stake
For as the sun all red and angry cut him to ribbons then to dust
He cursed aloud all hard drinking humans
All snowmen and his own insatiable blood lust
Then seconds later he was gone
Blown away by a whistling wind
With only his two animalistic fangs
To the hilt still buried in the snowman’s rock hard frigid neck
As proof that some feasts are neither meant for bats nor men nor beast

The Twelve Years of Christmas
Ken L. Jones

Hey lady I’ve never met you but you seem to be alive
Here’s my story fast and quick and none of it’s a lie
Now anytime the world ends can’t be good
But why I ask you why
Did the whole outhouse have to go up
Just days short of Christmas time
Now zombies were just some Halloween thing prior to this to me
I never gave them much thought when I wasn’t watching AMC
But the reality of all this is much worse
Than anything that George Romero ever filmed
And since the whole world froze on its axis at December time
Christmas every day is far from being a thrill 
And that kind of ticks me off because that used to be
Something I was into as a childhood fantasy
But I never imagined that it would be accompanied by
A symphony of hungry shuffling dead
Who want to feast on me after they rip off my head 
And all of this now mocks me and robs me of any Christmas spirit I ever had
So never wish me happy holidays it would only make me mad
And to think that I used to carp about over decorated houses
And too long department store lines
But now these days I’ve got things much more primal that occupy my mind
Like staying one step ahead of the thousands
Who think that they might find
My brain to be the perfect main course
For their endless Christmas dine
And if my double o-negative blood served as their mulled wine
They’d think it quite a winner
But I just want to barf at the notion of being someone’s dinner
Now who would have thought that some long ago Mayan
Was right with his stone calendar prophesies
That the world could really end at Christmas time
And why did one of the last ones standing have to be little old me
And because of it I’ve went from being a George Bailey
To an Ebenezer Scrooge in just twelve short years
Because everywhere I turn now
There is a nightmare before Christmas
Multiplied tenfold waiting for me there
And if the zombie Santa from our mall
Ever shows up and tries to lay a Red Ryder BB gun on me
Like the one that the old man gave to his son cute little Ralphie
I’ll use it instead to shoot his eye right out
And I’ll do it with much glee
Then maybe I’ll bash his forehead right in with a stale fruit cake
Because there’s plenty of them left lying around
Or maybe I’ll just use some twinkle lights to electrocute him like he was Uncle Lewis’s cat
As he makes funny gurgling sounds like a mouse trapped rat
Oh yeah I guess that would required some electricity but we’re fresh out of that
It sure shows how smart you are
That you approached me with such caution and such care
Because I’m much meaner than the Grinch
And Old Man Potter rolled into one
And not embarrassed about expressing it anywhere
And you can bet I’m gonna survive all this
Yes Virginia you can count on that
Because in this world of too many creatures a’stirring I never turn my back
And now it’s time to tender my Feliz Navidad’s
To the approaching mumbling hordes
So if you care to join right in with me
It’s good to have you abroad
And although it’s going to be one hell of a Christmas
I still say praise the Lord
And pass the ammunition
And help a new world come to be
And when we are the last ones left alive
We will make like Adam and like Eve
Only this time let’s make sure that we don’t plant any Christmas trees


The Holly And The Buried

Ken L. Jones

As I walk down the snow flurry sidewalks
There’s something strange about the Christmas shoppers that I meet
Some of them I haven’t seen for many a yuletide season
And some of them I have heard were long deceased
Why is everything so black and white here
With the hazy gravity of a dream
And why is all this so oddly familiar
And yet not quite right in ways I refuse to believe
A begging Santa who doesn’t look quite kosher
Bears more than a passing resemblance to someone I know
Is that William S. Burroughs from The Junky’s Christmas
Pumping that hand bell as he growls ho,ho,ho
And the further I walk the more unreal it gets
Until I doubt that I am still in my right mind
What happened to candy cane dreams and sugar plum visions
Perhaps I guess that is for other imaginations than mine 
Ones that with horror and the macabre
Their daylight hours do not fill because when I close my eyes
From a day of creating such labors
What else should I suspect might be awaiting me
In Morpheus’s fecund fields 
And yet all of this is a gift of a kind
A stocking stuffer that I would never re-gift or exchange
For it gives me such things to write about
As befit my transplanted brain
And so I will continue to share with you
All that about this season might be strange or scary
As between Joyeux Noel and the outré I broker a most unholy marriage

My Love For You Is As Red As Blood

As Green As Mold And Decay

Ken L. Jones

It’s midnight on December twenty-forth
And bells are ringing in every steeple
And while most would rather be
With the still moving people
I prefer to sit by you here
This stone bench is awfully cold
The snowflakes are bigger than any I’ve ever seen
And yet I doubt very much that they are larger
Than my throbbing grief
And there is only one place I would rather be
nd that is six feet under this earth
With your skeletal arms wrapped tightly around me
As our love finds a new rebirth
Your absence haunts me the whole year round
I long to join you every day
And yet as the yuletide rolls around
There is nothing festive about it
All is gray and so the barrel of my pistol
Will this night my candy cane be
As I give myself a final present
That could not be left by Santa
Under any decorated tree
Just one twitch of my trigger finger
Then this pawnshop gift I bought myself
Will sing to me the sweetest carol
As it rests me like a merry gentleman
With the contents of its barrel

What Hath This Season Conjured Up?

Ken L. Jones

There is a house on a crumbling cliff
A mansion some would say
That’s been deserted over a century now
And is slowly rotting away
The family graveyard and the weeds tall and overgrown
Make it as long deserted and yet
On every Christmas Eve the old place takes a deep breathe
Then it sparkles and it shimmers
Then all who are trapped behind its walls
To renewed vigor they do shiver
For even ghosts love Christmas Eve
If you don’t believe me
Ask old Jacob Marley
Who was known to clank a mournful chain
To invite a miser to be more open hearted and to party
And such a fete at this old place then happens
And for just the briefest of times
Those trapped and left behind are glad
As they wine and dine
And remember the December 25’s
Of their earthly days until too soon comes the sun
And then they blow away like Autumn leaves
Whispering Merry Christmas to everyone

Even A Season That Is Pure At Heart

Ken L. Jones

The full moon rises on our town
Counterpointing the huge lit tree
In old town square
While Christmas carolers stroll past
Unusually long houred shops
And hustling bustle is everywhere
All is perfect like a Norman Rockwell cover
And then is heard the noise that would better make
A sound track for the October time that is now weeks far away
A savage snarling like a beast
Yet it also sounds like a man
Tormented by all that he craves
Yet unable to stay his own hand
Then comes the ripping
Comes the screams
From a darkened alleyway nearby
Where bums gather in their cardboard crates
And drink their rot gut rye
And as much as we might like to think otherwise
This year it won’t be Santa Claus
Scrambling down our chimneys smoking
But something with real claws and fangs
And by God it isn’t joking
So melt down your silver bells into silver bullets fast
Bolt the doors hide the children in the basement
For a werewolf has come to our yuletide town
For his Christmas Eve repast
And brought with him a hunger most impatient



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